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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  September 12, 2012 4:00am-5:00am EDT

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children. i don't think they help. they sound good on paper, but when you see what happens in practice, we have a lot of problems with it. it's not just in chicago. this is a nationwide struggle. >> quickly, i'm out of time. are your teachers prepared to stay out? >> yes, they were. >> karen lewis, great to have you with us. that's "the ed show." rachel maddow starts now. >> thank you for staying with us for the next hour. we need to begin with breaking news. it's international. it's out of libya this evening in the city of benghazi. a mob descended on the u.s. consulate in benghazi today and set it on fire. witnesses say explosions were heard nearby and the men who attacked the american building were armed. there are conflicting reports about exactly how grave the attack was on the u.s. consulate. some are siting that a staffer,
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an american official was killed in the attack on the consulate. now while the state department has condemned the attack, officials are saying it's impossible to confirm the reporting about the potential death of a u.s. official in libya. at least at this time it is impossible to confirm it. nbc news is working to confirm that report. it's based on comments from a libyan official at this time. also today in cairo, a group of protesters there breached the outer walls of the u.s. embassy in cairo. the embassy has been described as fortress-like. you can see that in some of the images. the protesters in cairo reportedly luted some of the buildings inside these outer walls after they breached the perimeter of the complex. they did definitely take down the american flag. you can see there was a large crowd on scene.
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there were no reported injuries. both these attacks on american consulate buildings in benghazi and cairo, both were led by groups of people who were reportedly angered by a youtube video. a video reportedly linked to an egyptian american that depicts mohammed as blas fa mouse. we don't know if this person is base ed based in the united states and that's to whom the video is attributed as why the attacks were made on american properties abroad. we don't know if there were more complex reasons. this is not the first time that perceived criticism of islam has been reacted to violently in the muslim world. a florida pastor promoted what he was calling "burn a koran day." that spurred days of protests in afghanistan killing nine people there. in 2005 it was cartoons depict depicting the prophet mohammed. and u.s. service members
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accidentally burned copies of the koran in order to dispose of them. it sparked riots throughout afghanistan killing 30 people overall. but again, breaking news at this hour. a day of violent protests in libya and egypt. the american consulate and the american embassy in egypt. and reports still unconfirmed at this time that one american may have been killed at that consulate attack. this is an evolving story. we're still trying to get confirmation, but we'll update you as we learn more. that's tonight's breaking news. it was 11 years ago today on the day of the terrorist attacks of september 11th, 2001, when george bush made his first public remarks about the 9/11 attacks from where he was that day in sarasota, florida. the president was reading to a
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group of elementary school children when he was informed that they were underway. he continued reading to kids, but he did cut short the overall event and then explained why to the reporters who were there to recover him. >> today we have had a national tragedy. two airplanes have crashed into the world trade center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country. i have spoken to the vice president, to the governor of new york, to the director of the fbi, and i have ordered that the full resources of the federal government go to help the victims and their families and to conduct a full scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act. terrorism against our nation will not stand. >> the attacks had begun that
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morning at 8:46 a.m. you just saw president george bush speaking after the attacks began. the president is most remembered that day for the formal address from the oval office 11 hours later. but in that 11-hour period between those statements, most of that time president bush was in the air. in the initial chaos of the unfolding attack as commercial air traffic was shut down, president bush was moved to florida and to louisiana and to nebraska. he was moved within florida to louisiana and nebraska. he spent the day in flight aboard air force one before finally getting to washington, d.c. that evening to give the oval office address. one of the technological changes that our government has made since the 9/11 attacks is that if god forbid something like that were to happen again, the president would no longer have
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to land in order to speak to the nation. in the new profile of the president in vanity fair he writes, quote, when they give you the tour, they show you the extra large doors to accommodate the president's coffin. they tell you about the boxes of m&m candies, the medical room prepared for every emergency and a bag that says cyanide antidote kit. so that the president doesn't need to land to address the nation. today there were ceremonies marking the anniversary at the pentagon and at ground zero in new york city and in pennsylvania where vice president biden gave an emotional speech to family members who had had a loved one die there. >> my hope for you all is that as every year passes the depth of your pain recedes and you find comfort as i have.
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genuine comfort in recalling his smile, her laugh, their touch. my guess, and obviously it's only a guess, no two losses are the same, but my guess is you're living this moment that yates only wrote about when he wrote, pray i will and sing i must, but yet i weep. pray i will, sing i must, but yet i weep. >> vice president joe biden speaking today in pennsylvania on the 9/11 anniversary. this is the 11th anniversary of the september 11th attacks. in commemorating those attacks is something we have done for a number of years, but it is also something that's too new to have a sense of normalcy about it. no one knows how you're supposed to commemorate the 11th anniversary of this.
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it has been over a year now since the united states killed osama bin laden. the head of the group that attacked us on 9/11. it's a presidential election year. it's a year when one of the wars we launched after 9/11, the one that actually had a connection to 9/11, is a war that's still going on, but the other long war we launched after 9/11 has been ended in iraq. and all of those variables factor into decisions about how we mark this day as americans. but also how our leaders or our would be leaders mark it. how we commemorate 9/11 is a work in progress. we saw today a decision by the white house and the obama campaign to have vice president joe biden mark the day in a way that was not political. it was just about remembering the people who were lost that day and commemorating the sacrifices people have made in this country because of 9/11. while both sides in the presidential campaign suspended their negative ads for the day out of respect for the
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anniversary, there's no ban on campaigning today. there's no rule about what you can and cannot do. mitt romney gave a speech today before the national guard association in reno, nevada, and at times it sounded like his normal stump speech. he did go out of his way to attack president obama for defense cuts that are part of the sequester deal. which incidentally, are cuts that paul ryan voted for in congress. that's the kind of thing he's been stay save saying on the stump. after a week and a half of bipartisan blistering criticism of mr. romney for leaving discussion of the war in afghanistan out of his speech accepting the normal mination for president in tampa, paul ryan didn't mention the war if his speech either. but after facing all that criticism, mr. romney while addressing the national guard did not have much to say about afghanistan again.
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he stated the fact that we are at war in afghanistan and this was the total indication he gave for what his policy would in that war should he become commander in chief. quote, our goal should be to complete a transition by the end of 2014. we should evaluate conditions on the ground and solicit the best advice of our military commanders. and that was it. mr. romney has been critical of setting a timeline for taking troops out of afghanistan. when john mccain gave the foreign policy speech at the convention, john mccain's line on the war is that we should not bring troops home by the president's timeline. mr. romney at one point during the campaign said we should bring home troops from afghanistan right now. he suggested that might be the wise course. it's hard to figure out what mr. romney's policy might be on afghanistan afghanistan, what he might do with tens of thousands of american troops would do. if figuring out what might be his policy on this, we have no
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idea about given the number of things he's said about it. that is important. but that's maybe less important than the fact that mr. romney and his campaign try to talk about the war and try to talk about foreign policy and try to talk about national security as little as possible. today romney foreign policy advisor told buzz feed that the whole issue of foreign policy is, and i quote, a distraction. even then he called it something worse than that. it doesn't surprise me the obama campaign is raising foreign policy buzz it's another distraction from the terrible economic record. he then went on to say, e quote, they are going from one shiny object to the next. to be clear, the shiny object he's talking about here is the foreign policy of the united states. he's suggesting that his candidate will not be distracted into talking about something
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like that it while he's running for president of the united states. why should americans then vote for a man for president who thinks a foreign policy as a distraction as a shiny object? the romney campaign has an answer for that too explaining to buzz feed that mr. romney should not be underestimated on the subject of foreign policy. quote, he's a well traveled businessman. he lived overseas as a young man. what that referenced to, he spent time as a missionary in france. the advisor continues, mr. romney speaks french. he understands the world, the idea that he's this naive guy at 65 years old given his experience heading the olympic winter games and everything else, i just don't think that's going to play. while it's true the olympic games that mr. romney ran included people from other countries, it did involve people from the other countries coming to america to compete in utah,
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which is where those games were run. if that counts as international experience, so should working at an airport or driving a tour bus in a major american city. maybe holding a meeting at the international house of pancakes. would that count? the campaign is choosing not to compete for the presidency on the basis of foreign policy. and whether or not you were hoping republicans win the presidency, that decision to not compete on that issue has dramatic consequences for all of us in the country because it means of the two major parties, one of them, the republican party, has decided to not come up with a new republican take on foreign policy post george bush. there's not been an evolution in republican foreign policy since the bush/cheney era. they see no need to change their minds as a party because of what happened over those eight years when republicans were in charge.
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mr. romney was giving his i don't want to talk much about afghanistan speech today and while advisors were saying foreign policy is a distraction and a shiny object that they won't be conned into talking about while campaigning for the presidency, who was spotted giving today's briefing to the republicans vice presidential nominee paul ryan? these two guys. you don't recognize their names. they are not at all well known outside of the foreign policy establishment. but they are foreign policy types from washington. and they would be very well known to you if you're a student of the disaster that was the foreign policy era of bush and cheney. the guy on the left is a former george bush national security staffer. and the guy on the right was one who ran the project for new american century. it turns out that wasn't just a crazy conspiracy theory. that really was the republican foreign policy that was selling the idea of an iraq war even
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before 9/11. the project for a new american century was a real thing. they tried to get bill clinton to start the iraq war. they wanted george bush to start the war before 9/11 happened. then when 9/11 happened, they said we have to go now, don't we? the project for a new american century really existed and the people who ran it did not get run out of washington and forced into a line of work they would be better suited for like for example, coloring. they are briefing the republican vice presidential nominee on what to do about foreign policy. in 2012. the republican side never retired the g.w. bush policy team. no need to come up with a new idea or two. they don't seem to really care about foreign policy in terms of the mitt romney campaign. they just don't want to be asked about it. because the republican party is essentially forfeited on this issue, because on this issue there are not two plausible sides fighting it out in the
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election, there's the democrats and sort of a right wing fee pooe nut gallery that pops up. foreign policy and the wars are being handled in our political system differently than any other thing being fought over in this election. you can see that in the polling. look at where the american public is 11 years after 9/11 on the major issues of foreign policy. the proportion of the american public that want troops out of afghanistan either by the time that president obama wants them out or sooner than that, when you combine those numbers, it's 82%. on iraq, the proportion of americans who say it was not worth it is two-thirds of the american public. the portion who say the iraq war was worth it is just one-third of the american public. that's the highest ever number that said the iraq war wasn't worth it and the lowest number who said it was worth it. in terms of the impact of the iraq war, americans by huge margins agree with the statement that the experience of the iraq war should make nations more
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cautious about using military force to deal with rogue states. also americans by huge margins think the iraq war worsened our relations with the muslim world. americans believe the iraq war will not lead to the spread of democracy in the middle east and it did not reduce the threat of terrorism. huge margins. the proportion of the country that says defense spending shouldn't be cut is now below one-third. should we take military action against iran? the country says no. should we send troops to syria as was suggested by john mccain? the answer from the american public is hell no. would you rather the u.s. military acted along with nato or the u.n.? we americans 11 years after 9/11 prefer the unilateral options. even if this means we will have to go along with the policy that's not our first choice, the
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answer is yes please, work with the u.n. the american public on foreign policy is kind of liberal now. to the extent that you can describe the word liberal to the idea we don't want to be like bush and cheney were. maybe we shouldn't call that liberal, but there's no reason to call it any partisan term that's specific to any party. because what we find about foreign policy in terms of american public opinion has nothing to do with whether you're a republican or democrat. look at this from a new report today on foreign policy. contrary to conventional wisdom, the red and blue districts opinions on foreign policy are similar. the american public is not divided on foreign policy. when one of the parties is either avoiding the issue entirely or just carrying over from the last administration profoundly unpopular ideas that everybody in the country rejects and that could never be sold to
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the country if they ever became a governing power again, when a president has that much elbow room to maneuver in an area that's free from electoral challenge which is the state that president obama finds himself in right now, when a president has this much authority to move on foreign policy without challenge from the other side of the electoral aisle, it becomes important to understand how this president makes decisions on this important subject. not just on the anniversary of 9/11 but always. our guest tonight is michael lewis who just spent eight months with the president on air force one, at the white house, playing basketball with the president, plumbing the depths of how this president does his job and how he thinks about war and peace in this strange political era where war and peace are being handled differently. michael lewis joins us next.
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today the war in iraq is over. in afghanistan we're forging a partnership with the afghan people. and by the end of 2014 the longest war in our history will be over. when the history books are written, the true legacy of 9/11 will not be one of fear or hate or division. it will be a safer world, a stronger nation and a people more united than ever before. >> president obama speaking during a 9/11 memorial service
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today at the pentagon. our next guest michael lewis spent eight months with president obama this year august about how this president does his job day-to-day and specifically how this president views matters of war and peace and makes decisions about those things. the details are in the upcoming issue of "vanity fair." why do you think president obama let you have this kind of access for eight months and was the idea that you would talk a lot about war and peace? >> i'm sure he thought i was going to talk about the financial crisis. i have written nothing about foreign policy. so he was probably shocked on my decision to go dm and save this city in libya. so to answer your first question, it's interesting because he never explained why it was that he let me tag along
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with him. he gave me the opportunity to get to know him, which is what i needed to do to write what i wanted to write. if you think how different that is, i found on the sly he's probably read a few of my books. he never mentioned it. every politician i have met says i love your book. it's a culture of flattery he has no part of. he never explained why he was letting me have this experience. >> you write about how he's different than other politicians than you have known or things you'd expect in terms of little personal things like making sure his basketball game is a hard game. what kind of insight does that give you into the way he approaches bigger decisions? >> he likes a challenging environment and he likes an environment that where people treat him as an equal.
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but one of the things that quickly became clear to me is i would ask him -- the way i framed the conversation in the beginning was teach me how to be president. let's pretend in 30 minutes you're going, i'm replacing you, what do i need to know. it became clear that i think about this as a decision-making job. i had to create an environment if i was going to be a good president where i maximize the likelihood the decision is a good one. i wanted to find a decision that had his fingerprints all over it. and oddly when you go into domestic policy it's a poor place to explore that because there's so much noise. if he comes out with anything now, the other side is against it simply because he's for it. and in some ways, the process is paralyzed. but foreign policy, not so much. he does have this great latitude. you can see his mind in action and his process in action. and his mind leading to a result.
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>> you document in great detail how he made the decision about libya, how he took the decision-making process from yes or no on a no-fly zone. >> so these decision are thrust upon him. he is presented with a situation. gadhafi is marching through the desert promising to exterminate a city of people. a million or so people in benghazi. a genocide is probably about to happen. the french and british are proposing to establish a no-fly zone. obama has a meeting with his senior advisors in the pentagon to discuss what to do, how to respond to the french proposal. the pentagon gives them two options. do nothing or go along and establish the no-fly zone. obama asks if we do the no-fly zone is that going to save the people in benghazi. he's marching through the desert. so obama sees this as just political cover.
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and he gets -- he solicits opinions around the room and outside from people who aren't the important people. and a number of those people have a view that really we should be thinking about genocide as a national security issue. it may not seem like a national security issue whether we let these million people be exterminated but it creates a mood when you can prevent that from happening. these things in libya now may be much worse if we don't encourage our friends and walk the walk and not just talk the talk. obama says to them come back in two hours with an actual solution to the problem so we can consider it. they come back. >> two hours later. >> i have a dinner. i'll be back in two hours. meanwhile, he's planning the attack on osama bin laden's compound, he has a million things going on. this is a sliver of the presidency. and on his decision rests the
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lives of a million people. it's incredible. it shows the incredible power of the presidency. but because he reframed the decision and forced them to give him a good option. the good option was we have the capacity to go in and stop gadhafi in his tracks, but we have to make sure that other people have the ownership so we don't get stuck in the quagmire. an american pilot falls from the sky because his plane malfunctions and he's brought to safety by people in benghazi. they assume he's french. they don't even know we're involved. but it's a very interesting dynamic. he solved the problem. he went outside of the process to solve the problem. the process wanted him to do nothing. didn't want us in there. and he solved the problem in such a way that it was not construed as an american act.
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our lust for libyan oil. it just was a humanitarian intervention and it worked. what's interesting about this at the end, it's one of his triumphs what he did in libya. as a result, you don't hear a lot about it because nobody has an interest in talking about what he's done well. even he says now, you know, that decision looks like a no brainer, but it was a 51-49 decision. and every decision that comes across my desk is like that. even now i can see how it could have been a mistake to go in. it was not easy to make that decision. >> in hindsight, everybody says it was obvious. the reason i'm grateful that this is out right now is i feel like it's critically important for us to not have a partisan fight over foreign policy. i think the republicans are dysfunctional on this issue. they are deciding not to update the bush era. their policies are a flight list
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bird with an injury. it it would never happen. because wrooer not having that fight. this is a great window into it and it makes me wonder if republicans were contesting it, if we were having national debates. it would be much more like the decisions around domestic policy. >> we're not going to have the debate. but to get back to this president, that decision you can trace back to his nobel prize-winning speech where he wrestles with the question what a just war is. in a speech accepting a peace prize before a largely-european audience, he makes a case for war. and you back away from that and think what are the politics of that? no obvious ones. so my experience was whatever else he is, whether you approve or disapprove, he's an interesting cat. he's different. >> michael lewis, it's called
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"obama's way." he's the author of "boom rang." michael lewis, i love talking to you. thank you for being here. there was a truly jaw-dropping op-ed in "the new york times" today. the author joins us just ahead this hour. we have a big show tonight. stay with us. [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare? that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, they pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and save you up to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. call today to request a free decision guide to help you better understand what medicare is all about.
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america's politicians and the rest of the country spent part of this day commemorating the events of september 11th. there was some fresh reporting today about the attacks. it was in the "new york times" and its author joins us tonight for the interview. you do not want to miss this. that's next. ♪ ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] you may be an allergy muddler. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin® because zyrtec® starts working at hour 1
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today president obama sent to the federal register this notice. consistent with section 2 of the emergency act, i'm continuing for one year the national emergency previously declared on september 14th, 2001. the national emergency declared on september 14th, 2001 and the powers and authorities adopted to deal with that must continue in effect beyond september 14th, 2012. therefore, i'm continuing for an additional year the national emergency that was declared in 2001 with respect to the
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terrorist threat. what does the word emergency even mean anymore if we establish one for a year in advance? and what we're calling an emergency now is starting its 12th straight year? it will be a good day in america and a good day in the english language when the word emergency gets its meaning back. it's because of those powers and authorities that we justified with the actual emergency that took place in this country 11 years ago. but there are powers and authorities that the government does not want to give up down the line. more than a year after bin laden was killed, 11 years into our national state of emergency declared at the time of the 9/11 attacks, in the middle of a presidential campaign that on one side is basically just refusing to reckon with national security issues as a political matter, we are still faced as a country with basic, current, today questions about our willingness to give our
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government power to do stuff. one of the things that affects how much power the government ought to have is the constitution. what we believe our government is legally allowed to do. but even within that basic framework, there's the extent to which we think there's a threat that the government needs to take extraordinary measures to respond to. and there's the extent to which we think those extraordinary measures will actually keep us safe from whatever that threat is. that's not just a question of whether we're scared enough to give the government new powers. it's whether those new powers really will help against whatever this thing is that we are scared of. and that's pretty close to an impeer call question. that's why the new bomb shell reporting that ran as an op-ed today in "the new york times" is so important. he says it was not just that famous bin laden determined to strike in the u.s. presidential daily briefing that the bush administration received and ignored less than a month before
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9/11, just over a month before 9/11, it was a whole series of presidential daily briefs, all through may and june and july of 2001. all warning of a planned major strike by al qaeda in the united states, which then of course, ultimately happened in september of that year. there's a responsibility to get history right for its own sake, right? but if we have been telling ourselves all along something that's untrue about what it would take to keep us safe, if we have been telling ourselves a fairy tale about how much government powers and intrusion need to be expanded because what we had before wasn't enough to expect the government to act to keep us safe, it is very important that we correct that record and get that right. how we are living now in this 12th year of our national emergency is still base ed d in part on this idea that way back then before we made all these changes nobody could have seen this coming. joining us for the interview is kurt iken wald. he's the author of "500 days."
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it's about the decisions made by the white house in the first days in the 9/11 attacks. it's nice to see you. >> thanks for having me. >> in the course of your reporting, you gained access to some presidential daily briefings that are still classified. you described what's in some of them. what did you find in those briefs? >> what you had was a time after time after time of the bush administration being told in some far more level of specificity than we have heard before that something was coming. an attack was coming. you had a may 1st daily brief that went to the president saying, you know, there is a group in the united states that is planning an attack. you had a daily brief that said there are going to be mass
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casualty. there was a daily brief that said while it's been delayed, this attack is still coming. and you know, it points out a number of things. it points out the magnitude of the information that the bush administration was getting. but to a degree, it also goes to what you were saying about history. the history that was contorted and faked was well the problem here was the cia. they didn't give us information to act. and i can tell you that's an allegation that has tormented the people who were involved in developing that intelligence because they are basically being told for 11 years you're responsible for the people who died. and it's a lie. you know, having seen what's there, the cia, the people in
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the counter terrorist center and other intelligence people around the government were banging the drum, were saying over and over again, we have an attack coming. and you know, there have been every level of duplicity in terms of dealing with that. i shouldn't just keep going, but the very horrifying thing that shocked everybody, the august 6th bin laden determined to strike u.s., that in and of itself was a red herring because that went out there and condoleeza rice testified before the 9/11 commission this is a historical document, which it was. if you read it carefully, it was a historical document. this is what bin laden is like and he's determined to strike the u.s. but if we had anything to suggest that there was a strike that was imminent, we would have done something. well, guess what?
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that's what the previous briefings say. >> it said the attack was imminent. >> i should be careful. i don't know if she said the word imminent, but she did say, we were very attentive to this on july 5th. we had a meeting and we were all very concerned about these events. we didn't have any specificity. one of the things that's in the book was also in the op-ed piece is four days later the cia counterterrorism guys are in a meeting in the basement and say let's put in for a transfer because we're going to get blamed for what's going to happen. no one will do anything. the way one fellow put it to me years o when i was first interviewing intelligence people about this is the blame is not going to be that we didn't tell them. the blame is going to be that we didn't convince them and they won't let the country know that that's what they are blaming us for. >> the language in the the 9/11 report was his advisors would have told them that if there was
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a cell in the united states, they would have moved to take care of it. >> may 1st, george bush was told there was a cell in the united states. >> let me ask you to respond to something that was said today. one described you as a 9/11 truther, which is an allegation saying that 9/11 was an inside job, that the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by the u.s. government as a sort of false flag attack and therefore, you should be dismissed as a crazy conspiracy theorist. >> they are coming down a well-worn path. if you remember when dick clark, who was the counterterrorism guy at the nsc. he came out and said this is what happened. and suddenly, boom, he's the most evil person in the world. he's a liar, he's this, he's that. this is what they know how to do. by they, i mean -- i'm not going to say the bush administration.
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these people like arkansas ri fliesher who can't deal with facts. i was just talking with him and i said over and again, ari, name one fact i've written that's not true. he wouldn't answer it. and his calling me a truther, you know, and basically he's saying that what i am saying is that george bush intentionally orchestrated 9/11. and you read what i say. i cite cia briefs, this is what bush was told. and if he wants to say that's being a conspiracy theoryist, never expect we're going to get real history out of the bush administration. >> and getting the real history of this is important not just for the history but for the decisions we're still making. >> the book is called "500 days" and you lit everybody up today. thanks for talking to you
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jim jim cramer. today cnbc's gym jim cramer made news that had nothing to do with stocks or bonds or money of any kind. he made news on the biggest political story in the country right now. and that pretty incredible item is next.
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i told you it was a big show. it's a big show. stay tuned.
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in the world of cable news famous, gym jim cramer is seriously famous. he hosts a show called "mad money" every night on cnbc. here's what to do with your money. jim jim cramer is a bigger than life fame is person. he's also a nice guy. he also has a big twitter following. his tweets are followed by more than half a million people. this morning jim cramer posted this. i have a problem. my dad, a vet, won't be allowed to vote in pennsylvania, because he does not drive, he is elderly and can't prove his citizenship. famous problem is shared by a number of not famous people in pennsylvania. this is a new problem. it started in march when pennsylvania republicans passed a law to make voting harder. the law ban the you have voting unless you show a new kind of documentation you never had to show before and that thousands
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of people do not have. it's been called the strict test in the nation. in the court cases that are fighting it, it's estimated it may ban from voting 700 thousand people, more than a million people. when you have that many people cut out of the most pask exercise of citizenship, you are bound to know one of them. it starts being a pressing problem for you or somebody in your life. this voter, for example, michael, he calculated the time and money he spent getting his new id, the one that's required if pennsylvania. there's nothing strange about him. he's a guy who lives in philly, uses public transportation, doesn't have a driver's license. to get the id, it took a lot of motivation, six hours including two days missing time off from work. the expense amounts to just over $65. abc news chronicled dmv trips from hell.
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facing long drives, long lines in government offices, repeat trips to the dmv, more document gathering, more waiting. it does seem that pennsylvania republicans would rather not have headlines like that one. last month they won a round in state court when a lower court judge upheld the law. the next day 93-year-old got her id. the state gave her the id anyway. they made an exception for her after her case got a ton of publicity. a state official told a reporter tagging along for her id adventure that other voters could always try it. they could present whatever documents they do have, and try to persuade a collect to help them too, might work. pennsylvania is promising ahead of the election that no one legally entitled to vote will be denied the right to do so.
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but just try persuading the clerk to give you an eye id that you will be banned from voting. what exactly does legally entitled to vote in pennsylvania mean anyway. it can mean you got help that somebody smiled on you. this afternoon after jim cramer posted on twitter, he tweeted again pennsylvania came directly to my rescue and he can vote. it's clearly happy news for a citizen who loves voting and a son who loves his dad. and as for the other several hundred thousand pennsylvaniians who won't be able to vote, well, for you there's just one last hope.


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